Ramona isn’t their real name, but it’s close enough. We’ll go with Ramona.
Ramona 1 and I have known each other since the first grade. We were inseparable up until our mid-twenties, with that telepathic connection that you have with one, maybe two friends in a lifetime. However, Ramona doesn’t say “hi” when you call her, doesn’t ask you how you are. Ramona likes shortcuts, favors and fun without responsibility. While I’m far from perfect and she’s seen me at my absolute worst, her faults either became worse or less tolerable to me, to the point where I told her I no longer wanted to be her friend. We made a slight reconnect when my dad died, but that’s about it.
Ramona 2 lived down the street from me. From 7th – 12th grade and even part of college, I spent a few hours after school every day at her parents’ huge house. We could even see each others’ houses through the woods, so we could call each other at midnight if a light was on, or sneak over after our parents fell asleep. She was the complete opposite of me, but proximity made us close friends. Ramona 2 has like 1,000 Facebook friends. Ramona 2 is in a dance crew and goes to clubs every night. Ramona 2 is a bundle of hormones, energy and love, which works both for and against her.
The Ramonas both had blond hair, black cars, black cats, the same first name and last names that began with the same letter. The Ramonas have both struggled with major addictions, shaky employment, bad men, weird parents, bad tattoos and more. The Ramonas are both moms – one Ramona has a daughter, the other a son. Their kids are the same age. Both Ramonas are currently living with their parents. The Ramonas are trouble. In fact, for years I called them “The Scandalous Ramonas”.
The Ramonas are a huge part of my life. They were there for some of my biggest mistakes and struggles, my huge milestones, my first boyfriends, and more. They saw me every day, and we spent hours doing absolutely nothing in that adolescent way that somehow still feels productive. The Ramonas would sit on my back porch and chainsmoke half a pack with me in one sitting. Ramona 1 and I would analyze our entire day, Ramona 2 would invite boys over.
The Ramonas and I haven’t spoken for years. The Ramonas don’t know what I went through when I took care of my dad, weren’t there when I got my new job, and have never met Justin. The Ramonas don’t know what I’m like when I have my sleep disorder under control. The Ramonas probably don’t know that I can be a very rational, responsible, caring person. The Ramonas don’t know what it’s like to have a career, though they know what it’s like to have a kid so we’re probably even. The Ramonas stay out til 2 on a Monday. The Ramonas say “yes” to the wrong things and “no” to themselves. The Ramonas taught me what not to do.
Two weeks ago, the Ramonas both came back into my life. The Ramonas hung out with each other for a few days. Each Ramona claims the other Ramona is still on drugs. Each Ramona claims the other Ramona is a bad parent. Each Ramona claims they are okay. I still haven’t seen either of them; the Ramonas like to make plans and then not show up.
The Ramonas make me sad. The Ramonas make me simultanously nostalgic and relieved that my youth is over. The Ramonas make me want to hug my mother and apologize for things. The Ramonas make me exhausted. Just thinking about the Ramonas is enough to make me too tired to write in this blog for weeks. The Ramonas make me want a cigarette, or two, or twenty. The Ramonas break my heart.
The Ramonas make me wonder how I turned out the way I did. The Ramonas make me proud of myself. The Ramonas make me grateful for all of you, especially those of you I know. Thank you for not being a Ramona.
UPDATE: The Ramonas are currently on a road trip to see Primus.